$30K-$40K

$30K-$40K

Posted on by Simona  

After teasing it for quite some time now, Lexus has finally unveiled the third generation IS sedan at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. The new model will be put on sale in mid-2013 in both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions, and in 250 and 350 trim levels. There will also be an F-Sport variant, and Europe and Japan will get an IS 300h version featuring the new Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder, 2.5-liter engine combined with a high-torque motor.

The 2014 Lexus IS features the same design language we have already seen in models like GS and LS , including an inverted trapezoidal upper grille and slanted lower grille. Unlike the previous models, which featured a three-projector LED headlamp unit, the new IS receives Lexus’ new powerfully articulated headlamp cluster design with L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) located independently below.

Both models will be offered with a V-6 engine, one in a 2.5-liter displacement and the other one in 3.5-liter displacement.

Updated 04/29/2013: Lexus announced today prices for the 2014 IS luxury sedan set to arrive at dealerships this summer. Click past the jump to learn more about it.

Updated 11/08/2013: Lexus came with its entire 2014 lineup at the Miami International Auto Show that opens its doors today. The new generation IS luxury sedan is of course included, so, if you happen to be in the neighborhood then you should definitely take a ride at the show.

Updated 06/27/2014: Lexus announced today a series of upgrades for the 2015 IS sedan which will be put on sale later in the summer. For the 2015 model year, IS gains a new pair of LED fog lights for the exterior, while the interior gets numerous cabin enhancements. Check them out after the jump.

Hit the jump to find out more details on the third generation Lexus IS.

Three years ago, Honda unveiled the Accord Crosstour - a model that begged to be a competitor for the BMW X6 . Things didn’t turn out as expected and the Accord Crosstour turned out to be a flop. So, in 2012, Honda decided to change things up a bit and tackle the same competitors it failed against in the previous generation.

As a result, the old Honda Accord Crosstour has dropped the Accord name - being simply called the Honda Crosstour, and has received updates for both the exterior and interior to spice things up. For 2012, the Crosstour was offered in two trim levels - EX and EX-L - both of which are powered by a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine that delivers a total of 271 HP at 6,200 RPM and 254 lb-ft. of torque at 5,000 RPM.

These changes didn’t really help either, so Honda decided to give it one more try. As a result, the Honda Crosstour will receive even more changes for the 2013 model year. We’ll all have to look closely to even notice these changes, but we guess a certain amount of credit needs to be given for the effort. Most of the changes will be made to the power source, which includes a 4-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 192 HP and improved fuel economy: 22 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, 25 mpg combined. The V6 engine’s output has been raised to 278 HP, while rated at fuel economy is 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, 23 mpg combined.

Honda has even decided to lower the price of the Honda Crosstour, allowing it a base model price of $27,230, about $500 less than the previous model year. Will that help? We doubt it, but there is always hope!

UPDATE 11/15/2012: Honda has unveiled the official details on the 2013 Crosstour.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012-2013 Honda Crosstour.

The Nissan X-Trail has been a part of the Japanese automaker’s lineup for many years and has always provided that perfect balance between a compact and full-size SUV . In the UK, there are only three trim levels available, the Acenta (base), Limited Edition Platinum and Tekna. Or at least that was true until now…

Nissan has just announced that it is adding a third trim level to the X-Trail lineup that will sit between the Acenta and Tekna, giving the X-Trail the ability to better compete in the SUV realm. The oddly name n-tec+ trim level gives X-Trail buyers a happy medium between the two models, by offering up some additional high-end features not found on the base model.

So what does this trim level bring to the table that you already cannot get in the existing lineup?

Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2013 Nissa X-Trail n-tec+ to find out.

Chevrolet is expanding their Malibu line-up with the addition of a new Turbo version for the LT and LTZ models. The new Turbos will go on sale in Fall 2012 at a starting price of $27,710 for the LT version and $30,925 for the LTZ.

The new Malibu Turbo is powered by a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 259 HP and a peak torque of 260 lb-ft. This power is enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph. The engine is combined with a Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic, a four-wheel-independent suspension system, hydraulic ride bushings, and premium electric steering gear.

"The all-new turbocharged engine showcases just how capable the new Malibu is, and the turbocharged Malibu is perfect for customers who want a midsize sedan that is fun to drive under a wide range of real-world conditions," said Mark Meyers, GM global vehicle performance manager.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Turbo.

The Volvo C30 debuted for the 2008 model year and gave Volvo buyers something that they have craved for years – a sporty model. In its base format, the C30 pumps out a stout 227 horsepower from its 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine. Though it was relatively powerful, Volvo felt it needed a little bit more by developing a Polestar version of this hot hatchback.

We first caught a glimpse of the C30 Polestar concept way back in 2010 and we expected to see a production model shortly after, but it never happened. This 2010 concept boasted a 450-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter engine, leaving the sky as the limit with the production model.

Finally, after two years of development, Volvo has announced that it will release a limited number of production C30 Polestars to the public. Along with this announcement comes a press release showing off its features and, more importantly, its specifications.

The question hanging over the head of this new arrival in big bold letters is “Can it live up to the hype?” We definitely do not expect 450 ponies from this 3-door Polestar hatchback, but it still has some pretty big shoes to fill.

UPDATE 10/30/12: The Volvo C30 Polestar Edition was spotted at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show! It definitely caught us by surprise, we’ll tell you that. But seeing it there has convinced us that this sports car deserves to be in the company of all those sick machines.

To find out if Volvo hit a homerun or struck out with the C30 Polestar Limited Edition, click past the jump.

Mini has just confirmed their line-up for the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and as expected, the John Cooper Works Countryman is on that list. The car was caught testing for the first time last winter in Austria, but we have to admit it looks better than expected.

The new John Cooper Works Countryman is based on the current, most powerful version of the vehicle - the Countryman S - that uses a 177 HP turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. However, for the JCW version, the engine’s output has been increased to 218 HP. The car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 7 seconds and will be capable of hitting a top speed of 140 mph (manual version).

The new Countryman JCW will be distinguished by the usual JCW aerodynamic kit, an exclusive selection of paint finishes, 18" light-alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system, and a sporty interior.

UPDATE 09/26/2012: Mini has announced that the new Countryman John Cooper Works will go on sale on the US market at a starting price of $35,550.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Mini Countryman JCW.

Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

In recent months, we have all been exercising our salivary glands over two special edition Camaros coming for the 2013 model year. The first was the 580-horsepower, supercharged Camaro ZL1 convertible. The second of this bunch is the Camaro 1LE , which we recently pitted against the Mustang Boss 302. The ZL1 soft top, according to Camaro’s chief engineer, Al Oppenheiser, will hit showrooms at $60,445, including destination charge, and the 1LE will come in at $37,035, which also includes destination charges.

The ZL1 comes right in line with the Shelby GT500 convertible that it competes with, as it retails at $59,995 with the destination charge already included. As we all know, even though the ZL1 is considered a “competitor” for the GT500, they are completely different animals altogether. The ZL1 is a better daily driver and works better on a road course. The GT500, on the other hand, is a straight-forward sprinter with not nearly the agility of the ZL1.

The 1LE’s direct competitor is the Mustang Boss 302, which sits at $42,995, giving the 1LE a significant advantage in pricing. GM claims that the 1LE is actually tuned more to compete with the Boss 302 Laguna Seca, but with how close our comparison was between the base Boss 302 and the 1LE, we take that as a sales pitch until we get more hard facts under our belt.

We’re going to keep a really close eye on the 1LE release and keep you in tune with what exactly is going on, as some of the details are still unknown.

Nissan unveiled the 370Z Coupe in 2009 as a replacement for the 350Z , and the roadster version followed one year later. Over its short life, the car has largely remained the same, with only minor modifications made to the list of equipment.

Compared to the 350Z, the new Nissan 370Z features a more aggressive design language, intentionally picking up elements from the 240Z’s design. These elements provide a sleek aerodynamic shape, a "dynamic motion" feel with a dramatic cantilevered roof, and a "low visual gravity."

Both the coupe and roadster versions of the 370Z are offered in standard and Touring variants, with a 332 HP 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine and choice of a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed automatic transmission. In addition to these options, Nissan also has a Nismo model that delivers a total of 350 HP.

UPDATE 07/20/2012: Nissan has announced prices for the 2013 Z line-up: the coupe version is priced from $33,120; the roadster from $41,470; and the Nismo version is priced at $43,020. All models are now on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide. Hit the jump for full model and accessories pricing details.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2009-2013 Nissan 370Z.

After being rumored for quite some time, the new Cadillac ATS compact sedan has officially been unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The car was built to challenge some of the world’s best premium cars like the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes C-Class. It will go on sale in Summer 2012.

The new 2013 Cadillac ATS will be distinguished by its active shutter grille, LED-infused headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome trim, vertical taillights, and integrated trunk spoiler. It is also the first Cadillac model to carry the CUE infotainment system - an eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen that is integrated into the top of the center instrument panel.

Customers will have the possibility to choose between three engines: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 200 HP, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 270 HP, and a 3.6-liter V6 with 318 HP. All three engines can be combined with either a six-speed manual transmission or an automatic transmission, as well as an optional all-wheel drive system.

"Designed with quick, nimble and fun-to-drive dynamics, ATS expands Cadillac’s portfolio into a crucial global segment," said Don Butler, vice president of marketing for Cadillac. "For a new group of luxury consumers, this is a car that will fit their lifestyle and challenge the segment’s status quo."

UPDATE 06/17/12: Cadillac has released the official online configurator for the ATS sedan. Hop on over to the Caddy website and put on your creative hats and play away!

UPDATE 07/18/12: The new Cadillac ATS will be the star of a new series of videos featuring the sedan traveling the world to challenge some of the most punishing roads on Earth. Watch as the ATS’ advanced features are challenged and set the standard in every corner of the earth.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Cadillac ATS.

Posted on by Timmy Calloway 6

When you talk about muscle cars, the name "Mustang " comes up a lot. And when you’re a car guy, you either love the Mustang or you hate it. Camaro fans almost always despise the Mustang, and likewise, Mustang fans curse the day the Camaro was born. I am one of the few, though, that is a fan of American cars in general. I love Chevrolet , Ford , and Dodge . America would be a very boring place for gearheads if these three brands did not create the muscle cars that they did. This is especially true for the Mustang.

On March 9, 1964, Ford’s assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan started production on a car that would change the entire industry. Just over a month later, people at the New York World’s Fair laid eyes on the very first pony car ever built. This new class of car spawned the birth basically every American muscle car from that point on. And now, 48 years later, the 2013 Ford Mustang GT is a work of art.

The legend continues...


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